1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Dec '12 08:161 edit
    Chuck's Questions

    "Hi. My name's James Charles Williamson. I was born the day before Christmas in 1999, so that makes me twelve (going on thirteen) years old. My sister and parents call me Jimmy but my friends at school and on the soccer team call me Chuck. On that long Thanksgiving Day Weekend, about a month ago, I read a very good book with cool pictures all about planets and stars. Our librarian, Mrs Holmes, suggested it to me. Oh, by the way, Mrs Holmes always calls me Master Williamson. Anyhoo, that Sunday night after finishing reading the last page I couldn't get to sleep. No matter how hard I tried. The pictures kept staying alive in my forehead. Especially the ones of comets and the stars. Next day was no different. By then other thoughts were coming to me... like, maybe there's something else up there even bigger and stronger than our coach Mister Delfino or my dad. All that week, each night, I kept thinking that if there is something or someone way up there that I would really like to find out more and, maybe, somehow be able to know him. Yesterday, I told my parents about all of these things. All they said was that Mrs Holmes probably had more books that I could check out and read. What else should I do? Do you think I'm stupid or wierd to be thinking this way? Is there really a person up there running the sun and the moon and the stars?"
    -
  2. Joined
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    21 Dec '12 09:16
    chucks question - the abridged version

    is there a god?
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Dec '12 09:26
    Originally posted by stellspalfie

    chucks question - the abridged version

    is there a god?
    To abridge or to unabridge,
    Sir Stellpalfie,
    that is the question.
  4. Joined
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    21 Dec '12 10:43
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    To abridge or to unabridge,
    Sir Stellpalfie,
    that is the question.
    all great writers need an editor. or should that be all writers need a great editor.
  5. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Dec '12 13:21
    Originally posted by stellspalfie

    all great writers need an editor. or should that be all writers need a great editor.
    About that, you're terribly write.
  6. Joined
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    21 Dec '12 13:46
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]Chuck's Questions

    "Hi. My name's James Charles Williamson. I was born the day before Christmas in 1999, so that makes me twelve (going on thirteen) years old. My sister and parents call me Jimmy but my friends at school and on the soccer team call me Chuck. On that long Thanksgiving Day Weekend, about a month ago, I read a very good book with ...[text shortened]... is way? Is there really a person up there running the sun and the moon and the stars?"
    -[/b]
    What else should I do?


    Reading books is good, but it's not just about what you read but how you read.

    You can find books on pretty much every subject advocating just about every position on that subject.
    They cannot all be right. So you not only need to read lots of books, but also a method of determining
    whether or not what is written their is true/reasonable.

    You need to learn and develop critical thinking and reasoning skills so that you can analyse what is written
    in those books.

    You need to learn the methods of rationality and science and mathematics.

    These are the greatest and most successful tools ever devised by man for determining the nature of reality.

    Of telling what is right and what is wrong.


    Do you think I'm stupid or wierd to be thinking this way?


    Neither. These are very common ways and types of thoughts... they are just wrong is all.

    Unfortunately the way our brains naturally work has been honed by evolution to be effective at surviving
    on the African savannah as a hunter gatherer in small social groups/tribes.

    It's amazing that we are good at logic and reasoning as we are considering.

    However we're still not very good at thinking rationally and thus have to put a lot of effort into combating the
    bad modes of thought we are all prone to.


    Is there really a person up there running the sun and the moon and the stars?



    No. While nothing about reality is absolutely certain, the probability of their being a "person up there running the
    sun and the moon and the stars?"
    is so small as to be insignificant and not worth bothering about.
  7. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Dec '12 22:45
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    What else should I do?


    Reading books is good, but it's not just about what you read but how you read.

    You can find books on pretty much every subject advocating just about every position on that subject.
    They cannot all be right. So you not only need to read lots of books, but also a method of determining
    whether or not what i ...[text shortened]... moon and the stars?"[/i] is so small as to be insignificant and not worth bothering about.[/b]
    "Reading books is good, but..."

    * How would you advise young Chuck to start?

    "However we're still not very good at thinking rationally and thus have to put
    a lot of effort into combating the bad modes of thought we are all prone to."


    * Why are we not very good at thinking rationally ?

    "No. While nothing about reality is absolutely certain, the probability of their being a "person up there running the sun and the moon and the stars?" is so small as to be insignificant and not worth bothering about.

    Why not worth bothering about?
    -
  8. Joined
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    21 Dec '12 22:564 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Reading books is good, but..."

    * How would you advise young Chuck to start?

    "However we're still not very good at thinking rationally and thus have to put
    a lot of effort into combating the bad modes of thought we are all prone to."


    * Why are we not very good at thinking rationally ?

    "No. While nothing about reality is abs be insignificant and not worth bothering about.

    Why not worth bothering about?
    -[/b]
    "* How would you advise young Chuck to start?"

    When he's ready:

    Man and His Gods, by Homer W. Smith

    Forward by Albert Einstein

    Edit again: Is on line. Just don't use the chapter links in it.

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/downloads/ebooks/30426379-Homer-W-Smith-Man-and-His-Gods.pdf

    The Jesus oriented can search on "Jesus" by clicking on the Binoculars on the left.
  9. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    21 Dec '12 23:15
    Originally posted by JS357
    "* How would you advise young Chuck to start?"

    When he's ready:

    Man and His Gods, by Homer W. Smith

    Forward by Albert Einstein

    Edit again: Is on line. Just don't use the chapter links in it.

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/downloads/ebooks/30426379-Homer-W-Smith-Man-and-His-Gods.pdf

    The Jesus oriented can search on "Jesus" by clicking on the Binoculars on the left.
    And?
  10. Joined
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    22 Dec '12 00:451 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    And?
    And let Chuck enjoy his life. Don't try the fear angle on him like you do here.
  11. Dublin Ireland
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    22 Dec '12 00:57
    Originally posted by JS357
    And let Chuck enjoy his life. Don't try the fear angle on him like you do here.
    Don't f******K with Ch******K
  12. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Dec '12 05:23
    Originally posted by JS357
    And let Chuck enjoy his life. Don't try the fear angle on him like you do here.
    Fear festers and foments from within, not from without.
    -
  13. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Dec '12 05:24
    Originally posted by johnnylongwoody

    Don't f******K with Ch******K
    You're better than this.
    -
  14. SubscriberSuzianne
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    22 Dec '12 06:37
    Originally posted by stellspalfie
    all great writers need an editor. or should that be all writers need a great editor.
    Yes.
  15. Joined
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    22 Dec '12 12:302 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Reading books is good, but..."

    * How would you advise young Chuck to start?

    "However we're still not very good at thinking rationally and thus have to put
    a lot of effort into combating the bad modes of thought we are all prone to."


    * Why are we not very good at thinking rationally ?

    "No. While nothing about reality is abs be insignificant and not worth bothering about.

    Why not worth bothering about?
    -[/b]
    "Reading books is good, but..."

    * How would you advise young Chuck to start?


    Well young chuck is quite young, and may not be ready for some of the ideas/books i might otherwise direct him towards.

    So my first starting point would be to recommend a mix of popular science and literature that is both fun and exciting as well
    as mind expanding.
    The most important thing at his age is probably curiosity about the world and interest and excitement at learning.

    As he gets older I would then recommend moving on to more challenging philosophy (modern science based as outlined here
    http://lesswrong.com/lw/frp/train_philosophers_with_pearl_and_kahneman_not/ ) and more advanced science books,
    as well as just a good general education. Working through the materiel at lesswrong.com would also be something i would
    recommend for when he gets older.

    Other than that, having learned critical thinking skills (something that require constant work) I would advise reading lots of
    books about everything and thus meet lots of different and challenging ideas and to think about and critically test those ideas.
    Any idea worth holding will stand up to scrutiny and no idea that doesn't stand up to scrutiny isn't worth having.


    "However we're still not very good at thinking rationally and thus have to put
    a lot of effort into combating the bad modes of thought we are all prone to."


    * Why are we not very good at thinking rationally ?


    Because we evolved to survive as hunter gatherers not to be rational agents.

    http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Bias

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    Heuristics and Biases, Skepticon 4 Eliezer Yudkowsky
    YouTube

    Bayes Theorem: Key to the Universe, Richard Carrier Skepticon 4
    YouTube

    The Straw Vulcan, Julia Galef Skepticon 4
    YouTube


    PZ Myers on Science and Atheism: Natural Allies
    YouTube
    (the part about bad brains)



    "No. While nothing about reality is absolutely certain, the probability of their being a "person up there running the sun
    and the moon and the stars?"
    is so small as to be insignificant and not worth bothering about.


    Why not worth bothering about?



    There is a probability, a very very very very very very very very very .... very tiny probability, that the world is in fact a flat disk supported
    on the back of 4 elephants who are in turn standing on the back of a giant star turtle.

    If you understand why it is that this probability is so very tiny that it's not worth our while even bothing to consider it then you understand
    why the probability that there is "person up there running the sun and the moon and the stars?" is not worth bothering about.


    Just because something is logically possible that doesn't mean it's probable enough for us to bother considering it.

    Police don't consider the possibility when they find:
    A guy covered in blood, standing over the corpse of a man brutally stabbed to death.
    And that guy is holding a knife covered in blood.
    And that knife matches all the stab wounds, and the blood on it matches the DNA of the victim.
    And the victim has the suspects skin under his fingernails, and the suspect has matching scratches on his face,
    And there is CCTV of the incident showing the suspect attacking and killing the victim.
    And there are live witnesses who say that that is what happened.
    And the suspect has a motive for killing the victim...
    that all that evidence was planted by aliens using hyper advanced technology to frame the suspect.

    It's possible, but so unlikely that it's not worth considering, not worth bothering about.
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